German sports car manufacturer Porsche has once again ruled out re-entering formula one in the near future. In February, the marque's head of motor sport Hartmut Kristen denied that recent infrastructure developments were in preparation for a grand prix return. To the news agency Sport-Informations-Dienst, he has now referred to Porsche as a small independent manufacturer, despite the fact that it was awarded first place last May as the most prestigious automobile brand by New York's Luxury Institute and owns a large share of Volkswagen.

"The question for us is: can the capital commitment that would be necessary for formula one return enough to make it preferable to other projects?

"So far we have concluded that it can not," Hartmut said.

Porsche first entered the pinnacle of motor sport in the late 50s, and in 1962 Dan Gurney won the French grand prix before the marque withdrew to concentrate on sportscar racing. In 1983-1987, they built a turbo engine for McLaren with great success under the TAG (of TAG Heuer fame) banner. Porsche abandoned its disastrous final attempt to return to F1 after just a handful of races with Footwork in 1991. (GMM)